By Associated Press - Friday, August 21, 2020

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama’s unemployment rate rose slightly in July as the state continues to feel the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to numbers released Friday.

The Alabama Department of Labor reported that the state’s preliminary July unemployment rate is 7.9%, up from June’s rate of 7.6%. The number represents 176,637 unemployed people.

The state’s unemployment rate had surged to nearly 13% in April. By comparison, the rate was under 3% last July before the pandemic.

Alabama Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said the economy is recovering but the state “will continue to have fluctuations as we continue to learn how to navigate in this new pandemic-related reality.”

“Nearly 200,000 jobs were lost from March to April, when we experienced the greatest shutdowns and layoffs. Since then, we’ve recovered approximately half of those jobs,” Washington said.



Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Clay County at 4.8%, Cullman County at 5.1%, and Shelby, Randolph, and Marshall Counties at 5.3%. Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 19.0%, Lowndes County at 18.7%, and Dallas County at 14.5%.

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